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A Natural Approach to Fighting the Flu
Chi Rho Chiropractic
"Flu-season" is upon us once again and the recommendations are pouring in from every direction. The truth is that the best "flu treatment" starts days, weeks and months before the first sign of a sniffle ever appears. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. In many cases the flu is taking advantage of a stressed out system that can no longer put up with any more. Many of us have experience that after prolonged times of stress, poor sleep and a high sugar/alcohol diet we often get sick. Though there may be hundreds of beneficial habits, herbs and remedies…we list our favorites to keep us healthy during the “flu season” and speed up healing if you fall sick.
Supercharge your Lifestyle
This time of year is the perfect time to double down on doing things right as the busy holidays, high sugar intake and higher stress/traveling opens the door for illnesses. One of the best things you can do for your health is SLEEP! Quality deep sleep is when your body has a chance to fight infection, heal damaged cells and detoxify your organs. While you are sleeping, the body is not trying to process food, utilize your muscles or stress about all the work that needs to be done. That is why a minimum of 8 hours a night of sleep is recommended and more if you are sick. In a world where you are being pulled in several directions, sleep must be a priority.
In addition to supercharging my sleep I utilize the power of fasting unless it is a nutrient packed meal. Fasting is your bodies natural way of clearing out harmful invaders and weak/damaged cells. Ever wonder why you don’t really feel like eating when you are sick? It is your body’s inherent response to an infection. How do I do it? My morning starts off with either a hot cup of green herbal tea or a hot cup of bone broth. Often times that will be all I have until lunch time where I will have a “superfood” salad. Our bodies crave fresh nutrition most when we are sick and that can come from a bowl of collagen rich bone broth or a bowl of fresh greens and toppings in a salad. Dinner consists of the same types of meals…often soup or a cup of organic, grass fed bone broth. Also, do not forget the incredible healing powers of garlic, cilantro, parsley and black pepper.
Creating a healing place is just as important to healing as any supplement. To do this I like to diffuse essential oils around me. Some of my favorites are OnGuard from DoTerra, tea tree or a calming lavender blend. However, oils are also effective when applied topically. Frankincense, tea tree and oil of oregano are all great options to kick any illness.
Get outside! Though you may not feel like leaving the couch or bed, exposing your body to sunlight, fresh air and moving your body to get your lymphatic system moving is essential. Simply taking a 5 minute walk around the house can have tremendous benefits…even if it is chilly outside.
It is well known that around 70% of the power of our immune system comes from the health of our gut. For this reason it should come as no surprise that taking steps to improve gut health can help us prevent the flu or speed up healing. In a recent published article, the researches found that yolk derived immunoglobulins actually reduced the Influenza A viral infection, exhibited protective activity against the virus and concluded that “IgY can offer an effective alternative approach for influenza control”. Utilizing 1 scoop for prevention and 2 scoops per day if sick of IgY Immunoforce obtains the research supported benefits of supplementation.
One of our favorite supplements for nearly all health challenges, Vitamin D3 is an absolute must to optimize your health. Vit D3 acts as an immune system modulator, preventing excessive expression of inflammatory cytokines and increasing the killing ability of macrophages. It dramatically stimulates the expression of potent anti-microbial peptides and volunteers inoculated with live attenuated influenza virus are more likely to develop fever and flu symptoms when deficiency of Vitamin D3 is present. Healthy adults can take up to 25,000IU for 3 days in a row at the onset of symptoms but no longer than that. A better maintenance dose can be calculated by consuming 1,000IU bodyweight per 35 pounds of bodyweight.
It is clear that zinc affects multiple aspects of the immune system that impact how well our body is able to resist infections. Zinc acts on our white blood cells (immune soldiers) to upregulate the gene response and produce more hearty immune cells. Taking up to 50mg zinc during an acute phase of being zinc can drastically reduce sickness time and 15-30mg can be taken as maintenance.
Perhaps one of the most time tested remedies for boosting the immune system is through elderberry syrup. Used for a wide array of illnesses, a 2012 research study directly found that elderberry not only prevented the flu but also inhibited viral replication of the influenza virus. Even further, the positive impact of elderberry can be synergistically enhanced by astragalus, another potent antiviral. One of our go to recommendations and best sellers is a product called ImmunoFuel that combines elderberry, astragalus and 6 other immune boosting super compounds. This one tastes great and works really well for kids with a picky palate.
**I would be remiss to leave out any mention of the effect of medications like Tylenol and the relationship with Vitamin C and glutathione. Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in the brand name Tylenol depletes our body of a substance called glutathione. Glutathione is our bodies “master antioxidant” and most powerful defense system against any incoming toxins or pro-oxidants. While this is not an article for or against the vaccine, I highly advise the use of glutathione to counteract any incoming toxins that would be taken in during that time. Always speak with your physician regarding any concerns or questions regarding your particular case as this is simply an overview not for the purpose of medical advice.